A worker at a Wal-Mart in New York City’s Long Island suburbs was killed when a throng of shoppers broke down the doors to the store early this morning and knocked him to the ground.
The event involved a temporary employee and was “a tragic situation,” Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s biggest retailer, said in a statement. “The safety and security of our customers and associates is our top priority.”
Before I left town for the holidays I was going to do a snarky post about how the vast majority of shoppers who show up at 5AM are suckered by the fact that all those price specials are always “while supplies last” and Walmart has virtually no supplies in the store. Of course, that kind of stampede only demonstrates that all those “savvy” shoppers on Long island already knew this. That was the reason for the crush. This doesn’t excuse their horrible behavior, but Walmart could have prevented this tragedy from happening by having a rain check policy and didn’t. Instead we get the same message we always get whether it’s poisoned dog food or anything else that Walmart does wrong.
I’m also interested in this:
The man was working for a temporary agency on the company’s behalf, Wal-Mart said in the statement.
I’ve heard of temporary security guards at Walmart, but never temporary employees. Cancel that. Nearly every employee at Walmart is a temporary employee. I mean employees who work for temporary agencies. What’s with that, anyways?
Update: The NYC UFCW local responds:
Director of Special Projects for Local 1500 Patrick Purcell called Wal-mart’s comments in response to the incident both “cold and heartless.” “If the safety of their customers and workers was a top priority, then this never would have happened,” Purcell stated. “Wal-mart must step up to the plate and ensure that all those injured, as well as the family of the deceased, be financially compensated for their injuries and their losses. Their words are weak. The community demands action,” Purcell concluded.